By Daniel Hunter
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment of at least £750 million in funding to boost housing construction in London. The funding, announced in the Budget, will provide thousands of Londoners with more help to buy their own home.
Responding to the Mayor’s calls for a stable and continuous investment in housing, the Chancellor today confirmed a minimum of £750 million for the Mayor’s First Steps programme, through a new Help to Buy product.
This new investment will allow the Mayor to offer low cost finance to help thousands more mid-income Londoners to buy their own homes. It will do this by reducing the deposit they require, while accelerating house building in the capital, helping support thousands of new jobs in construction, particularly with the one in sixteen SMEs in the sector.
The move will help even greater numbers of hard working Londoners onto and up the housing ladder and is in addition to the £3 billion previously secured by the Mayor for housing projects in this investment round. This funding is already helping 50,000 Londoners through First Steps, as part of the Mayor’s commitment to build 100,000 affordable homes over two Mayoral terms.
The Mayor has been a strong advocate for increased infrastructure investment. Whilst welcoming the Chancellor's decision to allocate £3 billion a year from 2015/16, he will continue to make the case for still greater investment in road, rail and aviation infrastructure to grow London's and the UK's economy.
"London’s success and future prosperity is built by hard working men and women who need good quality affordable homes to live in. And with an ever greater share of Londoners' income being spent on housing and workers facing longer and more crowded commutes, I will continue to fight for a better deal for London as the our population approaches 9 million by the end of the decade," Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said.
"I welcome the Chancellor’s announcement, an announcement that will further enable us to tackle London’s biggest economic concerns head on. It must not be forgotten that the health of the UK economy depends on London, a City that now contributes a greater share of the UK’s economic output than at any point in our history."
The Mayor has also applauded the Chancellor’s commitment to provide extra funding for the development of new homes for private rent, potentially unlocking stalled schemes and accelerating house building. He also supports the Chancellor’s move to raise the maximum discount for Right to Buy in London in recognition of the higher cost of home ownership in the capital.
The Mayor has also welcomed the Chancellor’s New Employment Allowance to help small businesses — many based in London.
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